Although the first endoscopic capsule took its journey through the small intestine of a human patient about 18 years ago, capturing thousands of images of the small bowel, capsule endoscopy still suffers from one key limitation: images are captured on a strictly timed sequence, whether the capsule has moved or not.
This can create a glut of redundant images that needs to be sifted and filtered by hand. With image capture responding to actual movement, the amount of redundant data can be minimized, with up to a third fewer images to sort through. A novel endoscopic capsule technology was developed as part of the Endotrace research project supported with €1.2 million in funding from the German Ministry of Education and Research. The project was completed in November 2018, with the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM, Ocesco Endoscopy AG, and AMS presenting a ‘treat-sized’ capsule whose unassuming exterior hides cutting-edge technology on the inside. With no fewer than five cameras, a tracer, and a memory module on board, the tiny capsule still has room for its battery pack and an LED light.